After the #24hrstartup - Launching Your Startup
This is Part 3 of 3 in a series of how to have a successful startup stream! If you’re not familiar with the 24 Hour Startup Challenge, check it out here.
What I will cover in Part 3:
Part 1: Before the stream & how to prepare Part 2: During the stream Part 3: After the stream, launching & sharing your startup
Let’s take a minute and recognize that YOU launched a startup in 24 hours. 99.9999% of the world has not done that. You pushed your limits, and it was not easy.
Sorry for being cheesy.
Having low expectations
You are probably nervous about your launch. Everyone is.
One of the hardest things to do is to remove your happiness from the success of your launch. I struggle with it with every launch.
After talking with Pieter Levels, Marc Kohlbrugge, and others during the live interviews - there was a very common theme of successful products - having low expectations for the success of the launch and even being surprised by any success.
They still worked hard to build and launch it, but these low expectations help them remove their ego from their product. Shoot for the stars, and hope for the moon.
See this launch as a learning experience. By actually getting stuff done, you are learning more than you realize about building and launching products. What you are doing now will influence your next ideas and improve you as a person.
Stop adding features
During my interviews, Mubs talked about fear of launching and fear of how people will react or judge your products. It’s normal to feel this.
One thing that people do is they feel they need to add features before they can “truly launch”. This is bad. This may mean you are afraid that people will criticize you because you don’t have a certain feature.
Remember, Twitter didn’t have the ability to follow people when they launched.
Instead of thinking in your head of what features you need, just launch and actually find out what features you need (people will tell you).
The core value proposition of your product is what matters, not that you have a password reset feature.
Product Hunt: the “holy grail” of launches?
When you think of launching, you probably think of Product Hunt. It’s very coveted (for good reason). Overall, I think it is the best place to launch a product.
But not always.
For example, check out this launch data from Adriaan van Rossum’s launch of Simple Analytics:
In his case, his product appealed more to the Hacker News crowd.
Here’s another example, from my recent launch of Clout Report: ￼
In my case, launching it to r/hiphopheads, a hip hop subreddit, resulted in more visitors.
I’m not saying that Product Hunt is bad, I just don’t think it should be the only place that you launch and validate your product. Later in this post, I’ll post a few other places I think is worth trying.
Document your journey
If your 24 hour startup doesn’t end up panning out, at least you learned how to launch quickly, built your audience, and did something unique. So talk about this!
Write about this experience and make yourself heard! Make a tweet storm, make a video, keep live streaming, etc. It is a controversial and trending topic right now, and I think it’s worth writing about.
Different platforms, different strategies
It’s easier to launch on PH, Show HN, etc, because they are designed for launching products. The users are mostly welcome to your self-promotion.
That is not the case for every place that you launch. Sometimes, you need to come up with creative ways to share that you have launched a product.
Adjusting your messaging
You may want to adjust your messaging and approach depending on the platform. For example, on Reddit you may want to sound more personal. Or on Hacker News, talk about what technologies you used. On Indie Hackers, ask the audience for monetization advice. These are just examples.
The more value you can add to that community, the better the reception of your self promotion will be. This is especially true for Reddit, Facebook groups, and forums.
To learn what works, just do some research and see what has worked well on that platform. Get feedback on your messaging from our Telegram chat.
Don’t be spammy
Don’t spam your link around. You won’t get good feedback, and even worse, your post just gets removed and you possibly get banned from that community.
Self-promotion is obvious. Your goal is to wrap up your self-promotion into a nice package that caters to your audience.
Ask the mods
If you are worried your self promotion will be received poorly or there are rules against it, message the mod(s) and ask for permission. I did this recently and got approved to share something in a subreddit.
If you ask nicely and show how you can add value, the mods are typically pretty nice.
All the places
I wanted to write down all of the places I can think of where you can launch, and any tips here:
The obvious one. Everyone should launch on PH! It’s a really fun experience.
There are loads of guides on how to have a good launch, google it.
Hacker News is a forum where mostly engineers and tech people hang out.
The traffic from Hacker News can be huge. You usually launch with a “Show HN” post.
Here’s a list of the most popular Show HN posts of all time.
What’s great about Reddit is there are tons of subreddits that might cater to your niche.
What sucks about Reddit is they are very hostile towards self-promotion.
Like I said before, check to see what works by sorting by most popular in that subreddit, also message the mods if your subreddit has rules against spam.
I also wrote a bit about what works in a blog post of mine a few months ago.
Indie Hackers has a “Show IH” forum style. They are generally more interested in revenue-generating businesses, so see if you can use that angle.
If you have a developer-focused product, you should launch here.
If you don’t, maybe you write a post about the development process for a 24hrstartup. DEV is a very welcoming and open community of devs.
Personally, I don’t have much advice here since I’ve never done it successfully. A quick google search can help you find some for your niche.
Influencers & Brands
If your product features other people or brands, reach out to those people and let them know they are a part of your product. They may share it or retweet you! There's no hurt in asking.
Does your product cater to a specific group of people? Maybe you can collect some emails and ask people if they can give you feedback on your product.
This is an easy one. Launch your product through your personal social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
Your reach is probably bigger than you think, and people will be very congratulatory - you did something great!
Telegram & Slack groups
We’re all part of many groups! Drop your links in there and get some feedback!
I don’t have much experience here, but there are lots of niche sites that might cover your product or app! For example, if you made a running app, contact the writers of some running websites!
Like subreddits, There are TONS of niche Facebook groups. And also like subreddits, they are very sensitive towards self-promotion. Try your best to add value here.
That’s all I can think of right now, but there are so much more. You spent a lot of time building this thing, now do yourself a favor and get the word out!